Fermented Cilantro Lime Jalapeños (raw, probiotic, vegan, paleo, keto, Whole30)
Preserve summer’s harvest of jalapeño peppers and add gut-healthy probiotics to your Mexican-inspired meals with Fermented Cilantro Lime Jalapenos! These probiotic peppers are totally raw, vegan, paleo, keto, and Whole30, perfect for topping healthy tacos, nachos, fajitas, and more!
If you asked me my favorite flavors, I’d happily and honestly include cilantro and lime on the list… right up there with chocolate, orange, and lemon!
Bright, clean, sharp, and refreshing… that’s how I’d describe cilantro and lime. They have this amazing ability to lift just about anything you put them in!
And, as if jalapeños needed lifting… I’ve added bright cilantro and fresh lime to my fermented peppers to take them up a bazillion notches! (Love cilantro? You gotta try my Fermented Cilantro Chimichurri!)
These Fermented Cilantro-Lime Jalapeños are the gut-healthy, probiotic food you absolutely NEED to top allllll your Mexican-inspired meals. Think nachos, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, salsa verde chicken, even ranchero beans! These fermented peppers are IT!
Plus, if you’re anything like my family — and want hot sauce or peppers on everything — you’ll want to keep a jar of these fermented cilantro-lime jalapeños in the fridge at all times for other, non-Mexican foods that also love a bit of spice… Like hearty soups, chili, baked potatoes, even Asian meals!
Learn More About Fermenting!
Fermenting is not only a wonderful way to add beneficial probiotic foods to your diet, it’s also a great way to preserve a bountiful harvest! By leaving foods raw, but allowing their own naturally occurring bacteria to proliferate, you create a preserved food that will last for months. No need to throw away produce… ferment it instead!
The first book I ever read on fermenting was Nourishing Traditions. This cookbook-information book hybrid has been the most invaluable printed resource I’ve ever owned when it comes to the basics of making nourishing, whole foods from scratch for my family. I think every home should have a copy of this book!
Second, I love the approach Sandor Katz takes in his book Wild Fermentation. Rather than using whey (like Nourishing Traditions), Katz ferments with salt and allows ferments to culture for longer periods of time than Nourishing Traditions.
Finally, how about an eCourse? In Traditional Cooking School’s Lacto-Fermentation eCourse, I learned how to ferment all sorts of things: from kombucha and kefir to sauerkraut and chutneys! Anyone who’s serious about fermenting (and fermenting the right way) should go through this course.
Fermented Jalapeno Pepper Recipe FAQs
Can I control the spice level?
Love super hot peppers? Simply slice the jalapeños and ferment. Need less heat? Either cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds or use a de-seeding tool like this to remove cores from whole peppers.
Why doesn’t your recipe call for any sort of starter culture, whey, etc.?
Because it’s not necessary! Traditional vegetable ferments were not made with any sort of starter culture. The vegetable, water, and salt is all that’s needed. I make my Fermented Dill Pickles the same way!
How long should I fermented these peppers?
Rate of fermentation depends a lot on the temperature of your house. If your home is cooler, fermentation takes longer. Fermentation happens more quickly in a warmer environment.
You’ll likely need at least 48 hours, even if your house is warm. But, don’t be afraid of letting your peppers ferment longer, especially if your kitchen runs on the cool side.
Are the peppers supposed to change color?
Yep! This is part of the process. The color will go from the bright, vivid green of fresh jalapenos to a duller, more yellow color.
What about mold?
Given the properties of jalapenos plus the added salt, your peppers are very unlikely to mold during fermentation. Still, I’d be lying if I said mold was impossible. You can check for anything fuzzy and white, green, or blue-green when you burp the jars.
If you see a spot of mold, simply use a spoon to remove it. If the jar continues to grow mold, you can stop the fermentation by transferring to the fridge. If the entire surface of the liquid is covered in mold (unlikely), it is best to throw out the ferment.
Try Fermented Cilantro Lime Jalapenos On…
- Super Simple Salsa Verde Chicken
- Instant Pot Green Chile Chicken Chowder
- Instant Pot Bacon-Jalapeño Baked Beans
- Bacon & Green Chile Mac ‘n Cheeze
- Easy & Spicy Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Mexican Beef Stew
Now, let’s make the best fermented peppers ever!
Fermented Cilantro-Lime Jalapeños
Preserve summer's harvest of jalapeño peppers and add gut-healthy probiotics to your Mexican-inspired meals with Fermented Cilantro-Lime Jalapeños! These probiotic peppers are totally raw, vegan, paleo, keto, and Whole30, perfect for topping healthy tacos, nachos, fajitas, and more!
- fresh jalapeno pepperssliced 1/4" thick
- 1/2cuppacked chopped cilantro
- 4 to 5clovesgarlicsliced or minced
- filtered water to fill jar
- Start with a clean working surface, knife, cutting board, jar, and hands.
- Slice jalapenos and place in a quart-size Mason jar until about 3/4 full.
- Next, add chopped cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and salt.
- Fill with filtered water to cover the peppers, leaving about an inch of headspace in the jar.
Place the lid on the jar and leave to ferment at room temperature for 48 to 96 hours. (See Recipe FAQs)
- Burp the jar once per day (or more if your home is warm).
- Transfer the peppers to the fridge and enjoy for months to come!
More Gut-Healthy & Delicious Ferments You’ll Love…
- Naturally Fermented Jalapeño Peppers
- Fermented Cilantro Chimichurri
- Old-Fashioned, Crunchy, Fermented Garlic-Dill Pickles
- Ginger-Turmeric Kombucha
- How to Flavor Kombucha with Frozen Fruit
- Homemade Fermented Sparkling Apple Cider
- Hydrating Pineapple Mango Switchel
Do you preserve produce with fermentation? What’s your favorite ferment?
Originally published on May 20, 2018. Updated images and text on April 13, 2020.
Lindsey, can you tell me if it is possible to over ferment the peppers? I see a range of fermentation times and understand that a lot is on personal taste. I assume with longer fermentation time, the product will get somewhat soft?
Have you tried this recipe as a hot sauce and if so, would you make modifications to it?
It’s possible to over-ferment anything, but there is no danger in over-fermenting something. If it grows mold, then you’ve got a problem. But, over-fermented foods will just taste more fermented, possibly yeasty or alcoholic. Yes, I do this with salsa as well. I have 2 quarts fermenting right now, in fact!
This sounds great! I knew you fermented your cucumbers, but never thought of jalapeno peppers. Since my jalapeno plants, actually all my pepper plants, are not doing so good in this scorching Texas heat, I am going to buy some jalapeno peppers and make this. Maybe later on in the fall my plants will start producing enough to make this with home grown japs
You’ll love these pickled peppers, Dad! They’re super tasty and last a long time in the fridge.
Hi, could I use some (unflavored) kombucha/starter tea ? I know I am a year late but just coming across this and with ample time during this tumultuous time, want to use that time productively. Thank you.
No, it is not necessary to use a starter like kombucha with these peppers. You can simply use the salt. The naturally occurring organisms on the peppers will proliferate and ferment them.
Hi, I normally ferment with salt only but decided to give this recipe a try exactly as you say.. I just wanted to clarify that in 2 days it will be ready to be put in the fridge and enjoyed? Does it go so much faster because of adding the liquid from Bubbies? Thanks.
The time of fermentation depends on a lot of things, especially the temperature of your house. A warmer home will produce a quicker ferment, so yes, in 2 days the peppers could be ready to transfer to the fridge. I make these peppers in the summer and we don’t have AC, so mine are usually ready in 2-3 days and require burping twice a day. The addition of the Bubbie’s liquid hasn’t sped up fermentation in my experience.
My wife makes homemade fermentation weights that would be perfect for these! https://www.etsy.com/shop/simplyresourceful By the way, these look incredible! I’m starting my first batch this afternoon!
That’s awesome! Hope you enjoy!
HI I love the idea of this recipe. I have sauerkraut in the crock at the moment, could I use 2 TB of that brine? Also do you think I could add honey or sugar to sweeten them a bit?
You could use the brine from sauerkraut, sure! I’m not sure about adding sweetener. I’ve never sweetened a ferment, and I would be afraid that the sugar would throw off the balance of bacteria and lead to mold growth. Maybe try it in a small jar just in case?
Hi, this looks so good!! Can I use whey from milk kefir?? Sometimes I make soft cheese with MK so I keep the whey for other uses, let me know, thanks!!
Yes, whey from your milk kefir will ferment these peppers. 🙂 I prefer to avoid dairy in my ferments and use a veggie starter, like Bubbie’s or liquid from another veggie ferment, however.
I cannot wait to make these! I have some Bubbies..on hand.. and am excited to give this a try!!
Yes please! Pile these on EVERYTHING!
This looks awesome! Can I use the powder starter culture to ferment it (I feel I have one called Cultures for health..?)
I’m not sure, Shelby. I have no experience with that starter culture. I would probably try making another ferment first, like pickles, and then use the liquid from those for the peppers!
I’ve been craving everything fermented recently, and these look incredible, can’t wait to try them! =)
By the way, Lindsey, I didn’t know if Bubbies had enough probiotics to inoculate another ferment, so thanks for sharing that it works!
Yes! I’ve made many successful ferments with Bubbie’s as the starter!
I am seriously drooling over these! I’m obsessed with everything fermented but the spice and ferment combination…ahhhh yeah! MAGIC!
It’s only 5 am, yet it goes without saying that my mouth is completely watering. I love this condiment, this whole food version of such a favorite – and that it has probiotics!!! YUM and YAY!
Thanks for this ferment recipe..love spicy anything so definitely will be making this. Just a couple of questions..when is the previous ferment liquid or whey added. I am also wondering why adding the established ferment liquid is needed. I’m used to just fermenting with salt and time and have read that adding a starter messes with the natural fermentation process. Thanks for expanding on the process for this great sounding fermented pepper recipe.
It’s added with all the other ingredients. You can use just salt, if you prefer. I like to add a bit of fermenting liquid to introduce more probiotics right away and help the fermentation process along. Sandor Katz’s book talks about using only salt; while Nourishing Traditions uses whey mostly. To stay dairy-free, I use Bubbie’s pickles liquid or liquid from a previous veggie ferment. Hope that helps!